Wesley Batista Filho has been selected as the new CEO of JBS USA. He replaces Tim Schellpeper, who retired on May 1. Batista Filho has 13 years of experience with JBS, previously working as president of JBS Canada, president of the JBS USA Fed Beef Division, CEO of Seara, and CEO of JBS Brazil. Schellpeper joined JBS USA in 2017, first serving as president of the JBS USA Fed Beef business unit before becoming CEO of JBS USA.

Wesley Batista Filho .jpeg

Wesley Batista Filho, JBS USA

Lesly Weber McNitt has joined the Eleanor Crook Foundation as senior director of U.S. advocacy and communications. Weber McNitt most recently worked on the House Ag Committee under Rep. David Scott, D-Ga., as senior professional staff. Before that, she worked at the National Corn Growers Association and the Department of Agriculture during the Obama administration.

Sarah Beerbower is the new vice president of member relations for the American Clean Power Association. Beerbower joins ACP from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, where she was the senior vice president of corporate relations.

Brian Leake has started a new role as director of external communications at Bayer. He previously was the product communications lead.

Kristy Babb is the new director of communications for the U.S. Highbush Blueberry Council and the North American Blueberry Council. Bringing over 20 years of experience to the role, Babb previously worked for clients that include the Dairy Council of California, California Restaurant Association, Raley’s, California Travel Association, Ford Motor Company, Morgan Stanley and others.

Dana Peterson is back in her hometown of Smith Center, Kansas, where she founded a consulting business focused on growing leaders who grow leaders. Previously, she was in Fargo, North Dakota with Emerging Prairie, working with their entrepreneurial ecosystem, coding school and the Grand Farm. She’s also worked at USDA and was CEO of the National Association of Wheat Growers from 2010-2013.

The Russell Group has hired Kate Thompson and Morgan Orem as legislative assistants, overseeing legislative and regulatory issues along with policy communications. Thompson previously worked as a policy assistant for the American Farm Bureau Federation; Orem most recently completed an internship with the National Council of Farmer Cooperatives and will graduate next month with her Master of Science in Agricultural Communications from Texas A&M University.

Aaron Cummings has joined Crowell & Moring as a partner. Cummings previously was the chief of staff for Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa. 

Kristy Babb.pngKristy Babb, USHBC and NABC

Craig Roberts has left Capitol Hill and now works for MWS-Global as a senior vice president. Roberts most recently was a special adviser to Rep. Bryan Steil, R-Wis., on the House Administration Committee. During his career, he worked for former Rep. Rodney Davis, R-Ill., and Rep. John Shimkus, R-Ill., and for the Illinois Office of the Secretary of State and Illinois Office of the Lieutenant Governor.

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The Soil Science Society of America (SSSA), The American Society of Agronomy (ASA), and The Crop Science Society of America (CSSA) have elected new leadership: 

Samira Daroub, University of Florida, has been selected as the new president-elect of SSSA. Daroub is a director for the Everglades Research and Education Center. SSSA also announced new division chair leadership.

Peter Kyveryga, Deere & Company, is the new president-elect of the ASA. Kyveryga earned his Ph.D. in soil science and soil fertility from Iowa State University and brings 16 years of experience in the nonprofit sector.

Mark Sorrells, Cornell University, will lead CSSA in 2024. He earned his Ph.D. in plant breeding and plant genetics at the University of Wisconsin, Madison, and is a professor in the Department of Plant Breeding and Genetics at Cornell University.

Farm Credit East has elected Amy Walker-Bailey, Central Region, and Brett Kreher, Western Region, to sit on the board of directors each for a four-year term. Walker-Bailey is the chief financial officer of her family’s three businesses: Walker Farms, MGK Enterprises, and Walker’s Farm, Home & Tack. Kreher is a partner at Kreher Family Farms, an egg production business.

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